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New associate deans chosen for College of Arts and Sciences

by Deanne Puca

June 21, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University faculty members Drs. Cathryn Bailey and Terrell Hodge began new roles June 13 as associate deans in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Photo of Dr. Cathryn Bailey, WMU.
Dr. Cathryn Bailey
Dr. Cathryn Bailey

A professor of gender and women's studies and former director of the program, Bailey's new role in the College of Arts and Sciences is on interdisciplinary programming, international programming, space allocation, and faculty and student success. She is responsible for oversight of all of the college's interdisciplinary programs, enhancement and facilitation of international opportunities for students and faculty, administering student and faculty award programs, supervision of the college office for public relations, serving as college liaison to the WMU Center for the Humanities, and oversight of travel authorization and expense reimbursement.

Bailey earned her doctorate in philosophy at the University of Missouri in 1994 and was a Mellon Fellow at Duke University from 2001-2003. She came to WMU in 2008 from Minnesota State University, where she was chair of the philosophy department and a member of the Women's Studies Program faculty.

Her work as a scholar has proceeded from a feminist perspective that explores gender, race, class, and sexual orientation. A recent project, "Hypatia," for instance, raises such questions in relation to the gendered symbolism of the Buddhist icon, Kuan Yin. Other publications such as "Ethics and the Environment," have been on issues associated with animal ethics and included articles that explicitly address the confluence of gender, race and anthropocentrism. Another strand of inquiry for Bailey has been the recovery and reinterpretation of the 19th century African American theorist and activist, Anna Julia Cooper.

Photo of Dr. Terrell Hodge, WMU.
Dr. Terrell Hodge
Dr. Terrell Hodge

Hodge's work in the College of Arts and Sciences will focus on budget and personnel issues, research and scholarly activity, and information technology.

Her portfolio will include oversight of the college budget office; management of the college instructional budget for part-time instruction and the summer sessions I and II budget; graduate teaching assistantship distribution; fostering, encouraging, and enhancing faculty and student research and creative activity; and creation of the college's office for proposal development.

She is an associate professor of mathematics and has been at WMU since receiving her doctorate from the University of Virginia in 1999. Hodge was trained in modern algebraic and geometric methods in mathematical representation theory, a field concerned with capturing symmetry mathematically and using properties of symmetries to decompose difficult, complex problems into simpler ones. In this area, she has organized numerous special sessions and NSF-funded interactive workshops and conferences. She also has published papers in highly regarded journals, traveled to major mathematical research institutes, collaborated with internationally known experts, and sponsored and hosted a Fulbright scholar from Burkina Faso. She is beginning work with collaborators from the U.S. and China on a book project on her specialty--the modular representation theory of algebraic groups.

In recent years, Hodge has also expanded her interests to include mathematical biology. She co-directs an ongoing curriculum development grant project titled "Modern Biology, Modern Mathematics, and Modern Solutions: Moving Biomathematics Education Beyond Calculus," funded by the NSF. Project components introduce students to applications of modern algebra, geometry, and other discrete mathematical models to problems in molecular and systems biology, including metabolic pathway analysis, gene regulatory networks, and molecular phylogenetics. In this context, she has traveled nationally and internationally to speak about her activities, organized professional development workshops, and published papers with co-authors on both curriculum development and on new related research. She is a chief co-editor and co-author of an upcoming book, "Mathematical Concepts and Methods in Modern Biology," to be published by Elsevier.

For more information, contact Dr. Alexander Enyedi, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, at or (269) 387-4350.